Traditionis Custodes at 30 Days: A Retrospective and a Prospective

This is a salutary moment for people on both sides of the aisle to engage in a sincere examination of conscience: Have I weaponized the Sacred Liturgy, using it for ideological purposes, rather than for the glory of the Triune God?

(Image: Simon Hurry/

As we approach the month’s mind marker of Traditionis Custodes, and with the benefit of literally hundreds of articles produced, including my own reflection here at CWR within 48 hours of the promulgation of the document, we are in a good position to see how we got where we did and where we might do well to head in the months going forward. Let’s consider the situation from several complementary angles.

Pope Francis

Commentators across the spectrum have noted that the document is a potpourri of jumbled theology, canon law, history, sociology and psychology. This happens with great regularity with this Pope because, unlike Pope John Paul II, he doesn’t consult well (or apparently at all).

Francis seems to be ignorant of the Missale Romanum of 1965, simply alluding to the missals of 1962 and 1970; that text, in my judgment (and that of many others), came very close to embodying the desiderata of the Council Fathers, whereas what followed five years later, far exceeded the mandates of Sacrosanctum Concilium and even went against not a few of them. What would his thoughts be on that liturgical form? We don’t know. Nor do we know what his thinking is on other ritual expressions like the Dominican or Ambrosian Rites, or the Anglican Usage. Do they fall under the same negative verdict? Again, we don’t know.

Similarly, in drafting the motu proprio, he was apparently unaware of the power of diocesan bishops to dispense from purely disciplinary law (canon 87), which many bishops have already done. Not a few Ordinaries have taken a page out of the approach of the Jansenists and Modernists when faced with unfavorable papal decrees: “We have carefully considered the Holy Father’s concerns, thank him for his paternal solicitude, and thank Almighty God that none of his concerns prevail among us.” Except that in this instance, the approach is valid. This situation has occurred because he doesn’t have the pulse of the worldwide episcopate, which has led to what must be a very embarrassing response to him – it’s called, technically, “non-reception,” about which Cardinal Walter Brandmüller wrote quite lucidly (as is his wont).

Aside from the rambling, often incoherent style, the text is often vitriolic, perhaps exceeded only by Exsurge, Domine of Leo X (1520) in his condemnation of Martin Luther. Good fathers don’t speak that way to or about their children. Many have pointed out the irony that Francis has been kinder to Society of St. Pius X (in their irregular ecclesial status) than to those “traditionalists” in full communion with the Church. As Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he testified on behalf of the SSPX to gain for them civil recognition and protection and, as Pope, has accorded their priests faculties to hear confessions and to witness sacramental marriages, leading to the obvious question: Is it “okay” to pray with the Missal of 1962 if you are not in full communion with the See of Rome but verboten if you are?

When Francis appointed Cardinal Robert Sarah prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship, many of us were shocked (since Sarah and Bergoglio do not share liturgical visions). Even more amazing was the Pope’s mandate that Sarah pursue the liturgical trajectory of Benedict XVI! When Sarah began to do that, he was slapped down in a most unceremonious fashion and publicly shamed. Further, on one of Francis’ many airborne press conferences, he praised the Eastern rites of the Church for maintaining a sense of the sacred and lamentably opined that the Roman Rite has lost much of it. A man of many contradictions.

Although Francis taught Latin as a young Jesuit, he certainly exhibits an animus against the language. Strangely, he makes no mention of the possibility of celebrating the current rite in Latin. On his watch, the Vatican Press (LEV) has removed from their catalogue all Latin liturgical books of the post-conciliar era, while the Congregation for Divine Worship is denying permission to other publishers to reprint those books. Are the paragraphs of Sacrosanctum Concilium calling for the retention of Latin in the Sacred Liturgy missing from the Bergoglian editions of that document?

Finally, we are witnessing what can be called “reaction formation.” Some priests have seen the attendance double at their Masses according to the 1962 Missal. Why? When asking new-comers what has attracted them all of a sudden, a very common response has been: “I never knew much about that Mass or was much interested in it, but when I heard that Pope Francis was so opposed to it, I thought I should look into it.” That is not a very appealing response, but it is an attitude “on the ground,” one brought on by this Pope’s consistent pillorying of things he deems unworthy of maintenance. The Pope who constantly talks about the importance of priests having the “smell of the sheep” lacks that quality most evidently – or at least does so when the vox populi is not what he wants to hear.


“‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’”

Words have meaning; indeed, even a single letter can have immense consequences. The Christological controversy involving Arius revolved around the little Greek letter “iota” (“I”). Arius argued that Jesus was “homoiousios” as the Father (of a similar nature), while the Nicene Fathers maintained He was “homoousios” (of the same nature), the difference being a single letter, giving us the English expression that something doesn’t make “an iota of a difference,” but the iota did matter.

Several problems have existed with terminology regarding the Sacred Liturgy – on both sides of the ecclesiological aisle.

The first surfaced very soon after the appearance of the Missal of Pope Paul VI. Opponents referred to the work as the “Novus Ordo Missae.” Its use was mischievous, at best, as it has never been used in any ecclesiastical document and was clearly intended to conjure up “novus ordo saeculorum,” found on the obverse of our dollar bill, with its Masonic connections. In like manner, the expression “Traditional Latin Mass” (TLM): garners “Tradition” for one form alone, suggesting that the revised rite is not in keeping with Tradition. In Summorum Pontificum, Pope Benedict created the terms “ordinary” and “extraordinary” forms of the Mass to describe what he wanted to be side-by-side liturgical realities. That verbiage has not been widely used by people attending the older rite because it connotes that recourse to that form would be rare (“extraordinary” – like “extraordinary” ministers of Holy Communion!).

Since we need descriptors, I think the best, most neutral, and most accurate language (with no ideological baggage) to employ, is usus antiquior (the more ancient usage) and usus recentior (the more recent usage); this language appears to be favored by Cardinal Raymond Burke.

Benedict XVI

With all due respect to Papa Ratzinger, one must admit two unfortunate facts: He did nothing to curb liturgical abuses in the “ordinary form” (in my experience, the principal reason most Catholics attend the “extraordinary form” is to avoid things like altar girls, lay people distributing Holy Communion, Communion-in-the-hand), nor did he pursue the “reform of the reform” that he had championed for decades as a theologian and as a cardinal.

That said, a careful reading of Summorum Pontificum makes clear that Benedict did not envision his “extraordinary form” to exist in perpetuity; rather, that his notion of “mutual enrichment” would bring about an organic development of a tertium quid. Which makes sense since his major critique of the liturgical revisions was not that change had been introduced but that the changes did not evolve in a natural fashion.

Other considerations

The current Pope grounds his objections to the “old Mass” in supposed positions of its devotees challenging the validity of both Vatican II and the “new Mass.” If that has occurred, one can legitimately ask if priests charged with pastoral care of “conservative” believers have corrected erroneous positions of laity? However, let’s dig a bit deeper.

Regarding councils: One must distinguish between asserting that a council could be valid but ineffectual or ineffective. Here we can recall that the declarations of Nicea I (325 A.D.) did not resolve all the Christological controversies; as a matter of fact, we had to wait for Chalcedon I more than a century later (451 A.D.) for something close to a resolution. The five Lateran Councils (1123-1517) all dealt with issues of Church reform, with nary any effect. On the other hand, no serious Catholic, let alone an informed one, can adopt an ahistorical approach, which would hold that any one council is any more important than another; thus, Vatican II is not more important than Trent or Vatican I, only more contemporaneous.

As far as the Sacred Liturgy is concerned, the usus recentior cannot be treated as invalid because of abuses, any more than the usus antiquior can be invalidated because of fifteen-minute Masses “in the old days.” On the other hand, criticizing abuses in one form or the other should never be seen as a rejection of its validity or an assertion of its invalidity.

John Paul II and Benedict XVI spent more than three decades together in demonstrating how Vatican II was to be interpreted through a hermeneutic of continuity – and they had both the competence and the authority to do that as John Paul was a Council Father and Benedict was a peritus. In a bizarre twist of fate, a hermeneutic of rupture has been the preferred interpretive lens by both the far Left and far Right. When that happens, amber lights ought to go off. Sadly, the current Pope has given clear signals for eight years that he holds to the hermeneutic of rupture, which is nothing other than an untenable position, precisely because it calls into question the indefectibility of the Church.

Last but by no means least, all too many adherents of the usus antiquior have given ammunition to less than honest brokers by exaggerating the success of the “TLM”: hundreds of vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life, along with thousands attending the “TLM.” Why do I raise this issue? Firstly, because truth matters. The so-called “traditional” communities of priests – all international – rarely ordain more than ten men a year. One blogger recently declared that his “traditional” parish has 2000 people at their Sunday Mass. Really? Someone who knows the man’s diocese asserts that there isn’t a single church in that diocese which can accommodate anything close to 2000 people! Unnecessary (and unwarranted) triumphalism bred paranoia in the bad brokers, who surely stoked similar irrational fears in the Pope.

No, whether we like it or not, there is no “traditionalist” take-over of the mainstream in the foreseeable future.

Some final thoughts

First, the usus antiquior is not going anywhere, principally because Traditionis Custodes is a dead letter, in fact, dead on arrival. No intelligent diocesan bishop is going to stir up trouble where there has been comparative peace. Here, too, Pope Francis needs to recall that the primary responsibility of the Bishop of Rome is to foster ecclesial peace, not guerilla warfare.

Second, this is a salutary moment for people on both sides of the aisle to engage in a sincere examination of conscience: Have I weaponized the Sacred Liturgy, using it for ideological purposes, rather than for the glory of the Triune God?

One final question: Am I truly grateful that I have such ready access to what the Second Vatican Council rightly called “the source and summit of the Christian life”?

Here’s some food for thought from St. John Paul’s first Holy Thursday letter to his “beloved priests”:

. . . think of the places where people anxiously await a Priest, and where for many years; feeling the lack of such a Priest, they do not cease to hope for his presence. And sometimes it happens that they meet in an abandoned shrine, and place on the altar a stole which they still keep, and recite all the prayers of the Eucharistic liturgy; and then, at the moment that corresponds to the transubstantiation a deep silence comes down upon them, a silence sometimes broken by a sob… so ardently do they desire to hear the words that only the lips of a Priest can efficaciously utter. So much do they desire Eucharistic Communion. . . .

Or, can I echo Cardinal Newman’s literary alter ego in Loss and Gain?

. . . to me nothing is so consoling, so piercing, so thrilling, so overcoming, as the Mass, said as it is among us. I could attend Masses for ever and not be tired. It is not a mere form of words, —it is a great action, the greatest action that can be on earth. It is, not the invocation merely, but, if I dare use the word, the evocation of the Eternal. He becomes present on the altar in flesh and blood, before whom angels bow and devils tremble. This is that awful event which is the scope, and is the interpretation, of every part of the solemnity.

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About Peter M.J. Stravinskas 274 Articles
Reverend Peter M.J. Stravinskas founded The Catholic Answer in 1987 and The Catholic Response in 2004, as well as the Priestly Society of Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, a clerical association of the faithful, committed to Catholic education, liturgical renewal and the new evangelization. Father Stravinskas is also the President of the Catholic Education Foundation, an organization, which serves as a resource for heightening the Catholic identity of Catholic schools.


  1. Thank you, Fr. Stravinskas, for a coherent and conclusive overview. Just two possible refinements:

    We read: “This [TC is criticized as a jumble] happens with great regularity with this Pope because, unlike Pope John Paul II, he doesn’t CONSULT well (or apparently at all) […and, the pope’s] “hermeneutic of RUPTURE […] is nothing other than an untenable position, precisely because it calls into question the indefectibility of the Church” (caps added).

    FIRST, I suspect that maybe ALL the pope does is “consult,” however narrowly, such that the incoherent results are then collaged together by ideological, word-processing pygmies on stilts. (The vanguard example: Evangelii Gaudium (2013), initially drafted by the resigning Pope Benedict, then with those curious “four principles” graffitied over the top. Yes?)

    SECOND, the hermeneutics of rupture prides (!) itself in replacing the Church’s continuity and coherence (even Eucharistic coherence!) with HEGELIANISM. That is…in TC, most especially, (a) the living Tradition is silenced, as the expendable historical thesis, (b) post-Council abuses of Sacrosanctum Concilium (and only incidentally, Benedict’s Summorum Pontificum) are history’s new antithesis, and, (c) contradictions (as between never-denied doctrine and fully accommodated abuses in practice) are dolled-up in an ever-ongoing synodal synthesis…

    In short, the cancel-culture and “throwaway culture”: the difference between a complementary, deepening and fertile unity of concepts and, say, a sterile rhetoric [“dead on arrival”] and forced homo-geneity of impressions—-the literary equivalent to infecund and merely “inclusive” gender theory.

      • Easier to read: a fair request. Let’s try this…

        First, the SHORT VERSION—under the very influential German philosopher Hegel (a forerunner of Marx), we’re stuck with a domesticated God who is reduced to human “consciousness” or ideas (or spirit) within evolving history.

        And now MORE EXPLANATION:

        Human consciousness is NOT the Lord of all creation—who is both active within history AND always above human history. As the Second Person, within the Triune and living God, the Lord does enter human history, in Judea and as the Incarnation; but under Hegel this encounter is simply an overblown idea of evolving human experience, something to be replaced in succeeding eras by whatever lofty mental constructs the cat drags in (thesis, antithesis, synthesis, and so on…).

        The liturgical Tradition of the perennial Church—-facing God more, rather than mostly facing each other—-becomes nostalgic baggage to be muddled and discarded by the arc of history.

        Yes, the Novus Ordo is valid sacramentally, of course, and can even be highly edifying emotionally. But there are some who remember greater clarity about all this, and there are growing numbers who are attracted to this kind of, shall we say, orientation. The Second Vatican Council’s constitution on the Liturgy has been abused and not followed.

        Still, my preference is actually the Novus Ordo when done well, noting at least that in both cases we all kneel and are oriented upward (if not the liturgical East) at the concluding Doxology when “Father Joe (!)” announces: “Through Him, with Him and in Him [through, with, and in !!!], in the unity of the Holy Spirit [!], all glory and honor [!] is yours, almighty Father [!], for ever and ever [!].” But, why such a fleeting moment, stripped of Gregorian chant (etc.) and preceded too closely by the face-time kiss of peace: “how ye doin’ neighbor?”

        A famous Protestant has said, “if I believed what you Catholics say you believe [about the Real Presence] I would approach the Eucharist crawling up the aisle on my knees.” Not much of that now. No altar railings either. Kumbaya!

        • “A famous Protestant has said, “if I believed what you Catholics say you believe [about the Real Presence] I would approach the Eucharist crawling up the aisle on my knees.”

          Some of us do kneel Peter but most “Catholics” may feel embarrassed to kneel in front of their Lord,God and Saviour.

    • The author states that no intelligent bishop would stir up trouble where there is peace by implementing this “ motu proprio.” This, of course, explains why Cupich and W. Gregory have implemented it in their dioceses and, also, explains why it was written.

  2. As I said earlier, I do admire this man’s guts, in that it is likely his bishop rides the Francis train. Fr. Peter is no sycophant. And I seem to be enjoying his articles more and more. I do like communion on the hand, however, and I have no problem with altar girls. But pointing out the ironies of our current pope, the contradictions, etc., always enjoyable to read. I’m not sure of the root of these ironies, but an undivided heart, one so focused on Christ and indifferent to public approval or one’s status in the eyes of the world, would not give rise to such contradictions.

      • Why would PBS idiocy that glosses over the deconstruction of Catholic moral witness, and rejoices that Francis encourages a blind eye towards the crime against humanity of abortion be of interest to anyone not swayed by mindless sentiment?

        • A better question would be: Why did a Catholic media group not do something like this?
          And stop spreading the lie that Pope Francis “encourages a blind eye towards the crime against humanity of abortion”. Pope Francis has, on numerous occasions, condemned abortion. He sees the face of Christ in every child. He is against the taking of a human life – period.

          • Stop spreading the lie that lip service during a FEW of his many petulant moods constitutes a sufficient indicator of the man’s value and belief system. Mario Cuomo’s personally opposed argument was phony, and a Pope who has constantly and unambiguously aligned himself with the architects of the culture of death and the principalities of this world that orchestrate the mass murder does not provide a basis for faith in his integrity. And on one of the occasions that he “denounced” abortion, he also indulged his familiar follow up comment: “BUT the moral law must not be applied mechanically.” And let us not forget his persecution of pro-life witness within the Pontifical Academy for Life.
            And a man who sees Christ in every child does not protect sexual predators.

  3. Thank you, Fr. Peter, for the clear and specific exploration of Pope Bergoglio’s unclear and non-specific ruminations.

    Pieces like yours are the reason I frequent the e-seminars of CWR.

    • I found much more continuity and common sense in the Holy Father’s moto proprio than in the ramblings of this article. Plain and simple, use of Tridentine Rite has gotten out of hand. Stop using it!

  4. My mistake, above. Pope Francis’ first encyclical (with Benedict) was Lumen Fidei (June 29, 2013), but can we still see later how the “four principles” are superimposed on the gospel message?

    “Time is greater than space” at risk of HISTORICISM? “Unity prevails over conflict” at risk of CLERICALISM (e.g., “Traditionis Custodes”!)? “Realities are more important than ideas [concepts?]” at risk of NOMINALISM? “The whole is greater than the part” at risk of GLOBALISM (Mathematics, the Fundamental Option, Proportionalism/ Consequentialism)?

  5. Words fail me, so much so, that all I can say is how grateful I am for your very clear and concise eulogy for Traditionis Custodes, and even more so for your courage to publicly and fully explain how this Pope thinks (or doesn’t). We always have to remember where and how he was raised, and what the truly overshadowing schema was and is that his spirit is shadowed by in his decrees and even casual remarks. Honestly, I have gotten to the point that I don’t even bother reading anything at all by him, because I know it is steeped in a politics that is so permeated throughout him that he can not even see outside of its walls. I had hope that maybe he would see the error of what he was doing and return to actual theological and biblical guidance to the world, but no. I think this will not happen. Very sad to watch what is happening.

    • Very sad to watch what is happening…….
      a slight re-wording:

      Dear Pauline,
      We always have to remember where and how you where raised, and what the truly overshadowing schema was and is, that your perspective is shadowed by in your opinion of Pope Francis, even casual remarks and accusations.

      • That’s a very good point, Chris. Everyone is subject to epistemic limitations imposed by time, geography, sense perception, matter, etc. Each of us works out of a very limited epistemic model made up of incomplete data. That includes our favourite Popes and theologians. It’s very difficult to know, at least for me, whether my being “turned off” Pope Francis has more to do with me and my own limitations or whether it really is an objective and accurate assessment. I’ve been wrong so many times before in the past that it would be hubris for me to confidently assume that my information is complete and my negative judgment of this pope definitive.

        We always have to remember where and how he was raised, and what the truly overshadowing schema was and is that his spirit is shadowed by in his decrees and even casual remarks.

  6. Father comments that “opponents” of the 1970 Missal gave it the name “The New Order of Mass” for ideological reasons. That is not completely accurate. All over the world, official documents of Episcopal Conferences and nationally-published liturgical books referred to it immediately as “The New Order of Mass”.

    • The Holy See makes official statements about liturgy, not episcopal conferences. The US bishops insisted on calling “extraordinary” ministers of Holy Communion “special” ministers. After decades the American aberration was corrected by the US bishops.

      • Your reply is not very persuasive, Father. You claim that opponents of the 1970 Missale Romanum coined the name “New Order of Mass”. Even if Episcopal Conferences &c are not the first authority on nomenclature, it can hardly be argued that they gave the Order the adjective “New” because they were opposed to it.

  7. “t connotes that recourse to that form would be rare (“extraordinary” – like “extraordinary” ministers of Holy Communion!).”

    That’s it – let’s have the “extraordinary” form of the Mass as ubiquitous as the “extraordinary” ministers of Holy Communion. You can’t swing a cat without hitting at least a dozen of them.

    • I think a ratio must exist of how many EMs needed to keep communion under 10 minutes. 10 minutes is the max.
      Having Extraordinary Ministers also elevates and recognizes certain parishioners . So it serves 2 purposes – efficiency and flattery. Surely Jesus would approve of His Blessed Presence being utilized so craftily.

  8. Pope Paul VI calledin his Aposotolic Constitution called the OF Missal “The New Roman Missal,” and in the second paragraph stated that it was a continuation of the project begin by Pius XII to “update the Roman Missal for the present day mentality,” asserting that its aim was to “enrich” the prayers of the Mass.

    Laszlo Dobszay called that Missal “the Bugnini Missal” and argued in his book that the Missal was not Roman with respect to the tradition of the Church, but merely juridically, since it could only lay claim to the authority of Pope Paul’s power of office, and could not merit the higher authority of flowing from the tradition of the Roman Liturgy.

    This is the horrible result of the “mentality” of the Vatican Secretariat of State, which under Paul VI was made superior to the Congregation for the Faith, and now under the Pontiff Francis has become a mega-power, conforming everything to the whimsy of men concerned primarily with the world, and now, under Francis,the Congregtion for the Faith is demoted further down into 3rd rate status.

    Thus the impoverished and anti- tradition Church that now presided over its own catastrophe, unable to speak, because it can give witness only to “the present day mentality”

  9. “Traditionis Custodes is a dead letter, in fact, dead on arrival. No intelligent diocesan bishop is going to stir up trouble where there has been comparative peace.”

    I think this is certainly true, certanly in the short run. But perhaps there is a longer game. Francis has insisted new ordinands get permission from the vatican to celebrate the 1962 Mass. Perhaps permission will almost always be refused, and those who apply will have “their cards marked”. Moreover, it will also depend on how much pressure Francis decides to place on the ordinaries to curtail and/or eliminate the celebration of the 1962 Mass (does he have the determination and patience to keep the pressure up). And whether his successor also wants to pursue a similar policy. As you say, it is difficult to believe that many ordinaries will have the appetite to “stir up trouble” without pressure from the centre.

    • No, Francis does not insist on newly-ordaineds getting such permission. Rather, bishops are to “consult” the CDW for such permissions. Consulting does not mean permission. Similarly, a pastor is to have a financial council to consult; he need not follow their advice.

  10. While I agree that Father Stravinskas has a valid point about some partisans’ exaggerations in re the TM, Mater Dei in Dallas does have a Sunday Mass attendance of <1,500 in total, if perhaps this is the parish he refers to. I have no idea who the 'blogger' is but Mater Dei certainly exists.

  11. Note to editor(s). I’m removing the bookmark to CWR from my browser. You’re no longer important nor required reading in the Church. Twenty years ago I stopped reading “America” magazine. Now I’m going to stop reading you.

  12. If the late Bill Buckley was alive he might comment:

    “I would rather be governed by the most recent 2,000 priests who were ordained, than by the Pope Francis or anyone in the Curia.”

  13. There is talk that Traditionalists overstate the amount of Catholics who go to the TLM. Whether that’s true or not I prefer to believe it to be true. I attend both Masses. I have the right to question why the New Mass was hacked and butchered. The TLM is my preferred Mass and it all has to do with my spiritual life and for the greater glory and honor of God. And for no others reasons. One thing I have not read on the Blogs is the way Modernists treat Traditionalists, they’re worse than Francis, it is they who cause divisions and then with a false innocent face blame the Trads. I wish I could say what I have endured from Modernists for being Traditional. The Modernist heretics are wolves in wolves’ clothing. The TLM is mine by Church right and no one will deprive me of it. If necessary I will bypass Francis and go to the SSPX. This is my salvation I am talking about and no one will ruin it for me.

  14. I am grateful for the two beautiful quotes with which this article ends. I think, though, we need to be cautious about promoting a theology of “non-reception” of magisterial documents. In the article of Cardinal Brandmüller to which Fr. Stravinskas refers, the non-reception of John XXIII’s Veterum Saptientia of 1962 is said to have paved the way for the non-reception of Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae of 1968. There is, though, a difference between a disciplinary document such as Veterum Sapientia and a papal encyclical concerned with faith and morals such as Humanae Vitae. It’s also important to note that all the directives of John XXIII’s Veterum Sapientia of 1962 were not upheld in subsequent magisterial documents. Paul VI, in his November 4, 1963 apostolic letter, Summi Dei Verbum, upholds the need for seminarians to learn Latin, but he does not require that the major sacred sciences be taught in Latin as in Veterum Sapientia. Vatican II’s 1965 Decree on Priestly Training, Optatam Totius, no. 13, follows this same approach. So it was not a simple case of “non-reception” that rendered some aspects of Veterum Saptientia obsolete. Instead, it was the case that John XXIII’s successor, Paul VI, chose to follow a different policy. Something similar happened during the early 20th century. On June 29, 1914, Pius X ordered all the ecclesiastical schools of Italy to “uphold religiously the principles and major declarations of Thomas Aquinas.” The 24 approved theses of Thomistic Philosophy were then issued on July 27, 1914. After St. Pius X died on August 20, 1914, his successor, Benedict XV, modified the need for strict adherence to all of the 24 Thomistic theses. In a March 19, 1917 letter to Fr. Wladimir Ledochowski, the Superior General of the Jesuits, Benedict XV explained that the 24 theses should be understood as directional norms, but they are not obligatory “in an absolute manner” (see introduction to Denz.-H 3601-3624). I have no problem with bishops invoking canon 87.1 to allow the 1962 Roman Missal to be used in parishes where it is presently being celebrated. I think, though, we need to be careful about upholding “non-reception” as a model to follow with regard to magisterial documents. I say this because I have seen the theology of “non-reception” used as justification for dissenting from Humanae Vitae and other authoritative magisterial documents.

    • Robert L Fatiggi, For myself “Veterum Sapientia” issued right before the Council that was just, to begin and end holds great importance. St. Pope John XXlll gave it weight, it was an “Apostolic Constitution”, signed on the Altar of St. Peters Basilica. According to Cardinal Brandmuller when something of this nature is ignored and not obeyed then it dies. So then with the same logic, many have ignored the nonbinding Vatican ll and have not obeyed it, so Vatican ll is dead. This is Brandmullers logic, not mine.

    • Professor Fastiggi, is “Traditionis custodes” a MAGISTERIAL document? If it is, was
      “Summorum pontificum” also magisterial? If if they are both magsiterial, what are we do make of the fact that there are contradictions between the two, not only in policy but also on questions of substance?

      • Dear Peter, Thank you for your question. Both Summorum pontificum and Traditionis custodes are magisterial documents. The availability and regulation of particular forms of the Roman Missal are matters of discipline. Matters of discipline are not per se irreformable and they can change. The Council of Trent, in its July 16, 1562 “Doctrine and Canons on Communion under Bother Species and the Communion of Young Children,” taught that, provided the substance of the sacraments is preserved, “there has always been in the Church that power to determine or to modify what she judged more expedient for the benefit of those receiving the sacraments or for the reverence due to the sacraments–according to the diversity of circumstances, times, and places” (Denz.-H, 1728). So matters of sacramental discipline can change, but the substance of the sacraments must be preserved.

        • Thank you for that, Dr. Fastiggi. I understand that discipline can change, whether or not it is a good idea. TC certainly is a complete policy change with respect to SP, which shows that policies can change and so, if nothing else, shows that the policy of TC might also be changed one day. But what about the differences in the point of view of the TEACHING of these two documents (inasmuch as they are both magisterial)? Clearly, they have very different views about the hermeneutic of continuity and its implications for the lex orandi. On questions of FACT (not only discipline), TC also explicitly contradicts SP and its underlying assumptions. TC claimes that the “permission” for the old liturgy was only a pastoral concession to the Lefebvrists, which is historically false, as Benedict XVI has stated on multiple occasions that in fact his primary goal was to show that the Church is still the same Church and does not reject her inherited “lex credendi”. He said that as Cardinal Ratzinger, he said it in SP and the accompanying letter, he said it very explicitly even in recent years. TC misrepresents the mens of the legislator/teacher of SP.

          • Thank you, Peter. I don’t think Pope Francis is wrong in pointing out that one of the reasons for Summorum Pontificum was to seek reconciliation with the SSPX. Benedict XVI pointed out other reasons for SP, but Pope Francis wanted to highlight the reconciliation with the followers of Archbishop Lefebvre as primary. With regard to liturgical continuity, Pope Francis believes the Missal of Paul VI is in continuity with the Latin liturgical tradition, especially in the Roman Canon, which is Eucharistic Prayer I. Popes sometimes have different perspectives on various matters, but these differences do not challenge the integrity of the faith. For example, Benedict XVI, as Cardinal Ratzinger, said that the Marian title, Co-redemptrix, departed too much from the language of Scripture and the Fathers and gives rise to misundertandings (see God and the World, p. 306). St. John Paul II, however, publicly referred to Mary as “Co-redemptrix, on at least six occasions. I favor John Paul II’s use of this Marian title, but I don’t believe Benedict XVI’s perspective challenged the integrity of the faith. If some Catholics wish to claim that the Missal of Paul VI challenges the integrity of the faith, they are manifesting a mindset that Pope Francis wishes to avoid.

          • The following is from a CWR report by Dom Alcuin Reid:

            “Liturgy is a constitutive element of the holy and living Tradition.” [cf. Dei Verbum n. 8.]

            “… Pope Pius XII in his Encyclical Letter Mediator Dei (20 November 1947)…[teaches that] (n. 48),… “Liturgy is a constitutive element of the holy and living Tradition.” The liturgy, the liturgical rites themselves, are an intrinsic part of the handing on of the faith received from the apostles. They are not mere decoration or ornament. The rites and prayers that have developed in the life of the Church are sacred vessels which bring apostolic tradition to us. Thus they are privileged sacramentals worthy of profound respect.

            “That is why Catholic liturgy is sacred. That is why Catholic liturgy is not that which any individual or group ‘likes’ to do, but is what we do ecclesially, in accordance with what is handed on to us in tradition. That is why the Sacred Liturgy enjoys a theological objectivity and cannot be altered without the greatest of prudence and due proportionality. That is why the subsequent paragraph of the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches:

            “For this reason no sacramental rite may be modified or manipulated at the will of the minister or the community. Even the supreme authority in the Church may not change the liturgy arbitrarily, but only in the obedience of faith and with religious respect for the mystery of the liturgy. (n. 1125)….

            [Cardinal Ratzinger elaborated]:

            “The Pope is not an absolute monarch whose will is law, but is the guardian of the authentic Tradition, and thereby the premier guarantor of obedience. He cannot do as he likes, and is thereby able to oppose those people who for their part want to do what has come into their head. His rule is not that of arbitrary power, but that of obedience in faith. That is why, with respect to the Liturgy, he has the task of a gardener, not that of a technician who builds new machines and throws the old ones on the junk-pile. The “rite”, that form of celebration and prayer which has ripened in the faith and the life of the Church, is a condensed form of living tradition in which the sphere which uses that rite expresses the whole of its faith and its prayer, and thus at the same time the fellowship of generations one with another becomes something we can experience, fellowship with the people who pray before us and after us. Thus the rite is something of benefit which is given to the Church, a living form of paradosis, the handing-on of tradition.” (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Preface to Alcuin Reid, The Organic Development of the Liturgy, 2nd edn, Ignatius Press, 2005, pp. 10-11).


  15. “Have I weaponized the Sacred Liturgy, using it for ideological purposes, rather than for the glory of the Triune God?”

    Circumstance compelled my attending NOM yesterday. My young son, not used to Communion in the hand, was flummoxed. He was wearing a mask and couldn’t negotiate receipt of Communion at the same time as mask removal. The priest, saying, “Body of Christ” led him to say, “Thank You.”

    After Mass, in the vestibule, the priest held court, so I approached him to aologize and explain, “He’s used to Latin Mass.” Thereupon a decidedly non-pastoral assault ensued.

    He: “What language do you pray in? Well, then, the Mass is the best prayer. You should pray in your prayer language.”

    me: Yes, but God understands all languages. And the Missal has both languages.

    He: “And what about the bells that tell you to wake up, something’s happening!”

    me: Well, bells just signal to pay attention, get ready, the king is coming.

    He: “Look. I’ve done the TLM. Sure, it’s a good show, a good performance, and it’s good that it’s gone. I’m glad!”

    NB: Although the priest’s words are in quotes, the conversation was not recorded, so his words are from my memory and may not be 100% accurate. But they are very close, and the context is true.

    I’m all for pastoral care. At least he took it out on me and not my son. He was patient at giving him Communion, and he didn’t give any dirty looks. For that, I’m thankful.

    • meiron, I’m glad you wrote that Post. People need to know how Modernists treat Traditional Catholics. I call it “The untold deliberate hidden story.” I want to give just some of the experiences I myself dealt with.

      We had a new priest, the Modernists who were against tradition informed this priest of me ahead of when I met him. He had a swift anti-Traditionalist attitude.

      This priest in front of me spoke in a low voice to other men looking at me and making jokes. One man looking at me said laughingly, “Oh, I’m no Traditionalist.”

      My cousin told me that after Mass, a group of men spoke ill of my Traditional Catholicism. Then they walked over to my cousin and asked, “Angelo is a Traditionalist. What are you.” My Cousin said he answered boldly, “I am what Angelo is. If he is a Traditionalist, then I am a Traditionalist.” My cousin said these men were furious at his response. May my Cousin rest in peace!

      I taught Catechism, but when the new priest arrived, I was forbidden to teach Catechism.

      A whole family derided the Church and especially derided me, and they didn’t hide it.

      This priest and I had a long debate, about an hour and a half. And it was all about Latin.

      I started to attend Diocesan-approved TLM’s. We were stationed at a beautiful Chapel. All was going fine. But then one day after I donned the Cassock (I served Mass, and they thought I was the priest), two priests and the leaders of the music for the other Masses just so happened to come through the Sacristy (out of the ordinary) and with heavy sarcasm and with an in your face attitude asked me if I would like them to play for our Tridentine Mass. With a playful bold answer, I said, “NO, there will be no guitars, drums, or any other of your instruments at a Tridentine Mass” They, especially the two priests, looked at me in shock. We were told that Mass at the Chapel would cease as we were causing too much division the next week.

      Then our group was transferred to a parish. Those who would come out of the preceding Mass would question us on why the Latin Mass. They taunted us and belittling us while Jesus was still in their souls in Holy Communion. Then they turned and reported to the Bishop that we were divisive and causing problems, all because we answered their questions. What a brood of vipers!

      There are many stories about how Modernists treat Traditionalists. Then how are the Modernists with hearts ripped to pieces, suffering extreme trauma caused by those divisive Mean-Rad-Trads. Truthfully they are fanatical Modernists, a brood of vipers, scorpions. If I say that, what must the God of Justice see them as? Concluding with the number of people who attend the TLM, let us not forget that the Bishops had already strangled and violated Summorum Pontificum. This is by far no secret. They themselves did all they could to destroy Summorum Pontificum. Francis only gave it its final evil blow. Most Holy Lady, please crush the Modernist heresy. Amen!

      • I certainly believe that Catholics who prefer the 1962 Missal (some of whom are colleagues and friends of mine) should be treated with respect and not contempt. I am sorry to learn of these cases of mistreatment. On the other hand, Catholics who prefer the 1962 Missal need to affirm the validity and liceity of the Missal of Paul VI (as most I hope do). Pope Benedict XVI spoke of the “benefits and the validity of the liturgical renewal of Vatican II,” and he affirmed the “dignity and harmony” of the Missal of Paul VI as updated by John Paul II. Here are some quotes of Benedict XVI that illustrate his attitude towards the liturgical renewal that followed Vatican II:

        Apostolic exhortation, Sacarmentum caritatis (Feb. 22, 2007).
        3. If we consider the bimillenary history of God’s Church, guided by the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, we can gratefully admire the orderly development of the ritual forms in which we commemorate the event of our salvation. From the varied forms of the early centuries, still resplendent in the rites of the Ancient Churches of the East, up to the spread of the Roman rite; from the clear indications of the Council of Trent and the Missal of Saint Pius V to the liturgical renewal called for by the Second Vatican Council: in every age of the Church’s history the eucharistic celebration, as the source and summit of her life and mission, shines forth in the liturgical rite in all its richness and variety. The Eleventh Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, held from 2-23 October 2005 in the Vatican, gratefully acknowledged the guidance of the Holy Spirit in this rich history. In a particular way, the Synod Fathers acknowledged and reaffirmed the beneficial influence on the Church’s life of the liturgical renewal which began with the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. The Synod of Bishops was able to evaluate the reception of the renewal in the years following the Council. There were many expressions of appreciation. The difficulties and even the occasional abuses which were noted, it was affirmed, cannot overshadow the benefits and the validity of the liturgical renewal, whose riches are yet to be fully explored. Concretely, the changes which the Council called for need to be understood within the overall unity of the historical development of the rite itself, without the introduction of artificial discontinuities.

        Apostolic letter, Summorum pontificum (July 7, 2007).
        In more recent times, the Second Vatican Council expressed the desire that the respect and reverence due to divine worship should be renewed and adapted to the needs of our time. In response to this desire, our predecessor Pope Paul VI in 1970 approved for the Latin Church revised and in part renewed liturgical books; translated into various languages throughout the world, these were willingly received by the bishops as well as by priests and the lay faithful. Pope John Paul II approved the third typical edition of the Roman Missal. In this way the Popes sought to ensure that “this liturgical edifice, so to speak … reappears in new splendor in its dignity and harmony.”

    • Thanks, Meiron. Believe it or not, I’ve experienced the same contempt and condescension simply for requesting the use – in the OF – of the Roman Canon and the Confiteor in English, repeat: IN ENGLISH. Too “pre-Vatican II,” you see.

  16. I agree wholeheartedly, which is why I stressed in my article that non-reception can occur for disciplinary documents, but not doctrinal (or moral).

    • Father Stravinkas, forgive a layman’s bluntness: Could we not say that the active and politically manipulative Bishop of Rome has weaponized a Moto Proprio to create a messy smoke-screen to keep the heart of the Catholic resistance busy? While his C6 N°2 Marx is busy exploding the German Catholic Church into full schism? Is the hope to finish the dynamite job that brother Ronacali began before the +Zanchetta case dynamites the Sankt Gallen Mafia ? We talk of the lifeboats, while the engine room of the main ship is smoking and the fire could be extinguished…

  17. “Opponents referred to the work as the ‘Novus Ordo Missae.’ Its use was mischievous, at best, as it has never been used in any ecclesiastical document.”

    This is incorrect. Paul VI himself frequently connected the word “new” (novus) with his liturgical reforms. Many examples could be given (as I have done on p. 329 of my book “Reclaiming Our Roman Catholic Birthright), but the most notable is at a consistory for the appointment of twenty cardinals on May 24, 1976, when he spoke of “usus novi Ordinis Missae” and “Novus Ordo promulgatus est” (“the use of the new Order of Mass”; “the new Order has been promulgated”).

    As for the wonderful Newman quote, which I also love, it is a little ironic in context: “nothing is so consoling, so piercing, so thrilling, so overcoming, as the Mass, said as it is among us” — said as it is among us, i.e., in the Tridentine form. The words consoling, piercing, thrilling, and overcoming do not readily roll off the lips in connection with the 1969 Novus Ordo Missae.

    • Novus Moto Proprio? As was the case with the Novus Ordo mass, the active Bishop of Rome has weaponized what should ensure stability?

  18. “Have I weaponized the Sacred Liturgy, using it for ideological purposes, rather than for the glory of the Triune God?” Good Grief! What does that even mean?

      • My point is that Modernism weaponized the Catholic Church against itself. After the “Deserted Vineyard” of the 60s and today’s “Mass Exodus” a period of restoration is to be expected. For the to occur, the Modernist heresy needs to carry the blame for turning an entire generation of priests into neo-iconoclasts. To suggest TLM is weaponized does not make sense: tradition stands for sacred tradition not protestantism, or freemasonic relativism. Catholic tradition is a weapon against the C6 orchestrated German revolution? Of course. Catholicism is, by its very nature, conservative and not Marxist.

      • The modern heresy springs from the modernist concept that if it does not suit ME then I will not accept it. This is one of the values embedded in modernism that troubled many Popes – even before John XXIII.

  19. People are flocking to SSPX Chapels and I believe Francis knows it. Thanks to Francis the SSPX just may become the greatest thing in the Church. When Lefebvre consecrated the 4 Bishops he cited canon laws stipulation “In cases of necessity”. The SSPX will not sign the Documents for canonical status because the Modernists threw a wrench in it. They were to sign a Document that they accepted all of Vatican ll the way it was misinterpreted and accept all the looney changes that came with it. Bishop Fellay refused to sign saying, “We would be signing our own eternal damnation”. So, because of the Modernist’s divisiveness, the SSPX Bishops did not sign. All Rome has to do is remove the nasty Document and allow them to only sign the Original Document that states, “We remain as we are” but what’s holding Rome back. It is they who are divisive and not the Traditionalists. It is they that deliberately made it impossible for the SSPX to sign. The SSPX is ready and willing to sign but the Modernists heretics have to stay out of it. DIVISIVNESS is the name of Modernists. Ask St. Pius X.

    • Andrew, I couldn’t agree more. In ten years of attending TLM, I have never encountered hatred or anger towards Catholics who attend the V2. I use “V2” for Novus Ordo, as the Mass was weaponized by the Church’s enemies within to dynamite Her). However, when V2 Catholics discover that I attend TLM, it is quite a different story. Animosity, rejection, anger. I suspect Jealousy. Quite amazing. If I tell the TLM parishoners that I also attend V2 there is nothing of the sort: quite the contrary. Just as Maximilian Kolbe could whisper the words of consecration and distribute Holy Communion in a death camp… And, I have learned that from 1595 onwards it is the secret societies who have worked relentlessly to smash the tiara. That means the same sects that poisoned the texts of V2 gave us the Protestant Reformation. A proof is Our Lady of Good Success who denounced freemasonry as the enemy of the church in the 1590s. And the Malachy prediction of Popes down to Bergoglio – which dates from 1595 – may well be their devious work. Simply put, Our Lady of Good Success stated in 1595 that they would be the rulers of the 20th Century… So the programmed effort to Smash the Tiara has been a 400 year long struggle, openly named and denounced from 1717.

  20. Further, Andrew, the Divisiveness is present in the Extended Petrine ministry [the full assertion is repeated in the 2021 book by +Georg GANSWEIN “How the Catholic Church can Restore Our Culture” Chapter 7 “The expanded Papacy.” It appears with no corrective notes.] I have come to the conclusion – after also reading Taylor Marshall “Infiltration,” that the Extended Petrine Ministry dates to 1958 when Cardinal siri was forced to stand down after accepting the Papacy. He thus retained the Munus. If confirmed, a future church can invalidate the following two Papacies as well as the canonisations [which explains the rush to canonise without requisit miracles and attempt to secure them]. Malachy Martin suggested they “do not have the grace.” This is perhaps what he meant. There is evidence that PP Benedict XVI has also retained the Munus, and GANSWEIN has republished the idea[pre-read by PP BXVI] that was rubbished by the Acting Bishop of Rome after its presentation at a book launch. The acceleration of lunacy in TC surely signals that the end Modernist heresy is on the horizon. The first signal was the 2013 attack on the Kolbe-inspired Franciscans of the Immaculata: a fast growing young traditionalist order was smashed immediately, like pre-electroral pledge being fulfilled…

    • Mike H. Labruyere, What you say goes to show that things are not right in the Church. From what I have read and heard about the pre-Vatican ll Church, all matters were handled in almost perfect order, and the Church was truly united at that time. What happened? And how did it happen? We know that St. Pius X officially condemned the heresy of Modernism in 1907. In the early ’40s, Pius Xll stated, “The Church has officially condemned the heresy of Modernism, but sadly it is still widespread in the Church today.” The Popes warned us about Modernism, and now Modernists have full control of the Church. Their control of the Church has brought us many calamities, both spiritual and temporal. We both see that something is wrong everywhere, and they call us divisive when we speak out. Our Lady has forwarned about of these days and has given us the remedy. Namely prayer and penance. The Modernists are the problem. It is they who must be converted or driven out of the Church that’s surely the will of God.

      • From what I have read and heard about the pre-Vatican ll Church, all matters were handled in almost perfect order, and the Church was truly united at that time. … In the early ’40s, Pius Xll stated, “The Church has officially condemned the heresy of Modernism, but sadly it is still widespread in the Church today.”

        Which one was it? Was the Church in perfect order, or was it infested with heresy?

        There has never been a time of perfect order, supreme tranquility, or complete agreement in the Church. A clear-eyed reading of the Acts of the Apostles and the rest of the NT shows that quite clearly. As for the early to mid 20th century, there were immense internal and external challenges, struggles, and problems. And I think it’s correct to say that lack of faith and holiness (always a problem) was at the top of the list, especially as technology (the Pill, etc) and material advancements (money, comfort, position, etc.), along with the weight of secularism and practical atheism (addressed fairly well in GS, but basically ignored), made it very difficult for many (most?) Catholics to navigate, never mind to grow, as disciples of Christ.

        • But Andrew is right that the church was flourishing, enjoying growth. Seminaries were not closing, but building extra wings to house the vocations flowing in. The house was in order, be it suffering from the infiltration of spies since the 1929 Lateran Treaty. The hijacking of Vatican II put an abrupt end to all of that. The Council was a weaponized plan by Roncali’s French devils in the Paris lodge. Roncali claimed he was congratulated on his election days before the conclave by the French President…) The enemy was within. The fastest way back on track is to honestly admit to what happened at the Conclave in 1958 – just as the Church stopped covering up human abuse, its time to take the lid off the heroic ecclesiastical struggle with the enemy within. Continuing to speak of the fruits of the council in the present state of affairs is like selling indulgences : it flies in the face of the evidence, insults the Sensus Fidei, and is emptying the churches at an alarming rate. Germany: 200.000 flee the Bergoglio-Marx experimental “Novus Eglesia” a year. Don’t want to be in that number when the saints go marching in.

          • The Council, that was inspired by the Holy Spirit, was very much needed by the Church. Saint Pope Pius VI had seen the “smoke of Satan” and was determined to allow the spirit of renewal to preside. He denied false accusations brought against him by the enemies of the Church as it embraced this spirit of revival.
            You see people fleeing the Church in the modernist-controlled decadent West but you do not see the millions more elsewhere who are helping the Church to grow.

          • Mal, You paint a pretty picture of Vatican ll. Have you ever seen its reality today? The Church has been slammed with wrecking balls all over the world. And you want to paint a delusional beautiful picture of the glories of Vatican ll? Tell me of the greatness that has come from Vatican ll. I ask because I have not seen it and you speak as if you have seen it.

          • Andrew, maybe Mal is simply saying that the Council itself—-by stepping up to the task of aggiornamento and ressourcement—-could have been an enduring, beautiful picture. But the Council then got misused, even raped and tossed nearly in the ditch by moles and operatives waiting at the exit…

            Now the task is to either disown the victim and walk on past bitching like hell ‘til the cows come home or, like the Good Samaritan, to see the damaged truth of things and bind up the open wounds in an imperfect and then ravaged product.

            This is precisely what Pope St. John Paul II and Ratzinger surely had in mind when they convened a 20-year pulse check, the 1985 Extraordinary Synod of Bishops (and what emeritus Pope Benedict means when he distinguishes between the “real” council of the documents and the “virtual” council marketed to functionally illiterate airheads of the day).

            Out of the 1985 Synod came an immediately available Final Report, including the call for a timely (not weakly updated) Catechism of the Catholic Church (a “fruit of the Council,” 1992/1994/1997), one sign (yes, a very lonely sign!) of if not “the greatness that has come from Vatican II,” at least much better than nothing.

            Amidst the expansive wreckage, one might even say a NON-“delusional beautiful picture.” The centerpiece for Eucharistic coherence, for example, is n. 1374 on the Real Presence.

        • Carl E Olsen, Just look and compare the pre-Vatican ll Church and the Post Vatican ll Church, and there you have your answer. I said “Almost perfect” because the heretics who would run the Church today were already like decomposing corpses poisoning the Church in preparation for Vatican ll. The Modernists knew a Vatican ll was coming. Pope Pius Xl called for the Council, when he heard the Modernists were excited and already making plans, Pius Xl scrapped it. Ven Pope Pius Xll called for the Council but then scrapped it saying, “It was an inopportune time.” St John XXlll called for the Council and in 3 years from 1959 to 1962 in a discreet manner completed a great Council, the Modernists beat him by Voting his Council out. We instead got a Council made by Modernist men, and as you can see they can’t be beaten. It will take Divine Intervention, but for now, we rush into battle to defend the Church and the Truth She teaches.

          • We read, again, and again: “St John XXlll called for the Council and in 3 years from 1959 to 1962 in a discreet manner completed a great Council, the Modernists beat him by Voting his Council out.” By “discrete:” the 70 draft schemas done by “preparatory commissions” in advance of the Council?

            The TURNING POINT was an opening speech delivered by Cardinal Frings (Nov. 19, 1961, written by his periti, Ratzinger). In Seewald’s earlier “Benedict: Last Testament” (2016, and in “Benedict: A Life”, 2020) Benedict explains that his GOAL was/is to clarify the relationship between Scripture/ Tradition and the Magisterium—while the goal of the revolutionaries was/is to view Scripture/ Tradition/ Magisterium through the slippery “signs of times.”

            Of the preliminary schema on REVELATION, Ratzinger/Benedict explained: “But the language we have here does not go to the depth. It operates on the level of our human knowledge. But on the level of being [!], there is only one single source, which is revelation itself, the Word of God. And it is very regrettable that there is nothing, almost nothing, said about it in this schema [instead, polemics?].”

            So, “the QUESTION being put to the vote [after the Frings speech] was very complicated [….] Anyway it was a very close vote. Those who won were those who wanted to stay with the original schema [Revelation]. So from a legal perspective there was a very slight majority in favour of maintaining the first draft of the text [….] But then Papa Giovanni [himself! POPE JOHN XXIII] saw that the majority was too thin to be viable, and decided that the vote should be reopened […]” (“Benedict: Last Testament,” 2016).

            As for the controverted Frings speech and the reopened discussion, “Cardinal Frings later had intense pangs of conscience. BUT he always had an awareness that what we actually said and put forward was right, and also had to happen. We handled things correctly, EVEN IF we certainly did not correctly assess the political consequences and the actual repercussions [!!!]. One thought too much of theological matters then, and did not reflect on how these things would come across” (Seewald’s “Benedict: Last Testament” 2016, p. 142).

            As for “the political consequences and the actual repercussions,” note that for the decades following 1965 until the present, a second volume of “Benedict: A Life” (2020) is signaled, possibly in 2021. The difference between the “real” council of the Documents and the “virtual” council marketed to the airwaves….

          • Peter D Beaulieu, You say over and again that we hear the facts of the Council. It is true that St. Pope John XXlll called for the Council on Jan 25, 1959. St. John chose the Feast of Pentecost on May 17, 1959, for its commencement. I use the word discreet because I think Pope John wanted it that way, in order to keep the Modernists out. The Pope chose 100’s of Prelates, over 850 Theologians, and hundreds of other experts. Each Document was written in the Vatican. one of the Council Fathers chosen by St. John the XXlll was, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, he was a council Father of the real Council so had every God-given right to speak out but was punished instead. Each Document was sent to all the Bishops of the world for their input, they the Bishops were not left out. Most of the Bishops did not respond to Rome, it was only a few. In my imagination, I wonder if those Bishops who did not respond. did not do so because they already knew of the Modernist plot to overthrow the Pope’s Council, so why should they bother responding. It was not Cardinal Frings who started the whole mess. It was a Bishop who asked for the microphone and was denied it because it was against the rules, the Bishop grabbed the microphone forcefully, and then began the mass destruction. The Bishops were called to Rome only to sign the 70 Decrees of the real Council. The Council that took place on Oct 11, 1962, was the beginning and the end of the Council in which Pope John was assured it would last only 1 or 2 weeks at the most. It is said that Pope John XXlll was overjoyed that for sure by Christmas of 1962 the Council would be set in motion. The demolition of Modernism was set to begin in Christmas 1962 but it remains with us today.

          • Peter D. Beaulieu, “In advance of the Council” That’s not correct, Peter. The Council started on May 27, 1959, and it went on and was completed before Oct 1962. We got 70 Decrees, a 1962 Missal, and an Apostolic Constitution on Latin. The whole Council was completed in its entirety before Oct 1962. The Bishops of the world who took part or were supposed to have taken part were called to Rome on Oct 11, 1962. To begin and to end the Council. The Bishops were called only to sign the 70 decrees. But they had other plans. What the Modernists did then they are still doing up to now.

          • Andrew (August 21, 2021 at 5:17 a.m.):Yadda, yadda, yadda…

            The assertion once again that there was no Vatican Council of 1962-65. Probably not good to try to enlist Benedict in your worldview. In his book (which you reference but never quote), he remarks that the episcopacy—-surely including all of those who did not respond to the 70 decrees (Benedict says 75)—-decided that they were not merely an “executive committee” of the preparatory commissions.

            We all agree that things have not gone well. But, now, we might be reminded that most bishops today did not respond to the survey regarding the Latin Mass (one account says only 30% responded, and of these, half either supported or were not opposed to the Latin Mass).
            What are we to make of this? The disfunctionality of surveys as a tool of collegiality, in 1959 and again in 2019?

            Perhaps it is the working of the Holy Spirit that today the members of the episcopacy are clearly recognized, institutionally and personally, as successors of the apostles. A good thing, too, now that the home office is infested with careerists, perverts, and termite functionaries. The Holy Spirit must have seen this coming…

            Were it not for Lumen Gentium, the complementarity of the papacy with the episcopacy (and of the episcopacy “together with its head, the Roman Pontiff, and never without this head” — Ch. 3, n. 22, and especially the added and routinely ignored “Explanatory Note”) would never have completed the half-done work of the interrupted (national political revolution) and “suspended” (not adjourned) First Vatican Council.

            Apart from the 70/75 (draft?) decrees of 1959, the Second Vatican Council actually completes the First Vatican Council of 1869-70.)

        • “There has never been a time of perfect order, supreme tranquility, or complete agreement in the Church. ”

          Rembert Weakland, who until the revelations about McCarrick was something of a poster child for episcopal corruption was ordained in 1951. McCarrick was ordained in 1958.

          If Vatican II never happened, we still would have had these and other scandals and the influences of the pill and the media.

          St. Peter Damian and St. Catherine of Siena decried corruption centuries ago.

          The people who think the Church was a grand ship sailing placid seas until 1963 ought to understand that it is a leaky vessel, with a few good officers attempting to maintain a straight course when many are derelict and disinterested- and its still only refuge from the storms which dominate its course.

  21. So you agree that the council which was instigated by a Pope photographed a few years previously inside a luciferian Grand Orient Lodge in Paris has decimated the church in the West, but certain antipodes remain unscathed. The EF is indeed alive in Africa and Poland and elsewhere. God’s Permissive Will allowed it to happen, undoubtedly, to bring about a greater future good. Just as he allowed the freemasons & Marxists to also renew their catacomb pact to destroy Catholicism after the Sankt Gallen Lavender Mafia’s Pachama synod: which His permissive will also allowed.

    • God’s permissive Will allowed this to happen, just as He allowed the people of the first covenant to be fooled into lapsing and worshipping the golden calf. The adulation of the anti-church project to destroy nations, impose false marxist ideologies, replace pagan earthgodesses where the holy of holies alone should reign is an exact repetition of what happened throughout the old testament. May Modernism be melted down, like the goldrn calf. May Brgoglio’s 2 million euro bronze statue celebrating migration be also melted down and used to save some catholoc families fleeing islamic terror. May Pius the XIII arrive and replace the holy of holies back in the heart of all the sanctuaries. May altars dignified for the holy sacrifice be rebuilt, and the chosen people of the second covenant return to the faith of their grandfathers and great grandfathers. If every Catholic yearning for this to happen offers a rosary a day before an abandoned side altar, what graces would flow. Our faithfulness on our knees can rebuild the Church. And for this reason alone I today end my messages on this site, hoping to to have contributed something to the TC debate. God bless all Report readers.

  22. Wow, so extremely negative. In my parish we are persecuted by the traditional latin mass goers who push us out of parish councils and activities because they feel that they hold “The Truth” about the Church and how everyone should celebrate. We accept this persecution in that it allows us a means to suffer in just a very small way with our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. What a gift. We pray for our latin mass brothers for union and understanding in one holy and apostolic Church. We do wonder if they read the same gospels as we do when Jesus Christ takes on the Pharisees who thought that they hold The Truth when in fact there is only one Truth. Humility on all sides is the key. Blessings to all and prayers for Pope Francis and all the universal Church in all of its beauties and splendor.

    • “In my parish we are persecuted by the traditional latin mass goers who push us out of parish councils and activities”


      Oh, the drama.

    • FREE For All Authentic and True Martyrs: Call 1-800-FREECOUCH for a spanking-new fainting couch. At no additional cost (excludes shipping and handling fees): Clutching pearls, 50 bead-strand set with crucifix and Miraculous Medal centerpiece of Sterling Silver. Comes with a Certificate of Authenticity and Guaranteed lifetime of prayer and sacrifice. Amen.

    • “We do wonder if they read the same gospels as we do when Jesus Christ takes on the Pharisees who thought that they hold The Truth when in fact there is only one Truth.”

      Quite true. Let me point out that you are in the exact same position as those who attend the Latin Mass (you do realize that Mass is supposed to be capitalized, right?). One could just as easily point to you and your chums as the Pharisees. And there is a difference between humility and passive aggressive pretend martyrdom.

  23. First, I want to thank Fr. Peter for a “middle of the road” article. It seems to me to be right down the middle. It has enough history and calling out of various documents to be valid, but not so many that a layperson like me can understand it.

    Next, I want to thank a large number of fellow Catholics who read what he said and also responded rationally, whether in agreement or disagreement. I believe that the TLM is a “saving grace” for many of my Catholic family, but I don’t believe it, by itself, will save my severely damaged Church.

    We clearly have too many SJW priests and bishops, and often even a pope, who seem to think the role of the Church is to make the world a better place, and not to save souls. And often “better” in ambiguous ways, with questionable science, perceived injustices, and ignoring Church teaching.

    My Church will survive, and eventually correct herself. But I’m sure it won’t be in my lifetime. I just hope to see her moving in a positive direction, if even a little.

  24. The woman said to him, “Sir, I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain; but you people say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.”

    Jesus said to her, “Believe me, woman, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You people worship what you do not understand; we worship what we understand, because salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth; and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship him. God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and truth.”

    I pray for the time when you’ll worship in neither your traditional Latin masses, nor your Novus Ordo, but learn to understand what you worship, and to do it in Spirit and truth.

    • I pray for the time when you’ll give up your pride and arrogance (i.e. your unfounded belief that you personally know what the Bible means and that anyone, including the Church, who disagrees with you and knows that you have no authority to decide must knuckle under to your personal interpretation) and become Catholic.

    • “And account the longsuffering of our Lord, salvation; as also our most dear brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, hath written to you: As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are certain things hard to be understood, which the unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction. You therefore, brethren, knowing these things before, take heed, lest being led aside by the error of the unwise, you fall from your own steadfastness.” 2 Peter 3:15-17

  25. With every criticism of a living pope, or of a deceased pope, and with every suggestion that the documents of Vatican II Council caused harm (even if unintentionally), the credibility of the Sacred Church is chipped away, bit by bit, in the eyes of Catholics and non-Catholics. All these criticisms and suggestions are, in a way, necessary for some of the faithful to keep their sanity; they must, like Winston Smith kept saying to O’Brien for some time, that truth is still truth, no matter what authorities say. They must say, as John Savage asserted to Mustapha Mond, that some human values must not be suppressed for any reason. And yet, truth be told, none of this should be happening. The unity, identity, and loyalty that most Catholics in connection to the One Holy Faith prior to the 1960s never should have been lost (regardless of whether it was intentionally destroyed by ecclesiastical authorities, or unintentionally and accidentally lost). It’s a crime that it was lost. And here we are, 60 years later, and things are, incredibly, only getting worse. All I can say, again, is that by the lights of the catechisms of the 1950s and before, this should not be happening. We all know in our bones that this should not be happening. Above all, we should let that conclusion sink into our depths, so that we can perhaps see what to do next. Participating in this endless cold war “culture war” tit for tat verbal shoot’em up, by now, be seen by all as pointless, and even wrong.

    • Gus,
      I would hope that we would have no war. But war may be just. Here is what St. Thomas Aquinas said (Commentary on Galatians) about Paul refuting Peter, posted earlier at another OP. It applies here as well. Oremus.

      “Apropos of what is said in a certain Gloss, namely, that I withstood him as an adversary, the answer is that the Apostle opposed Peter in the exercise of authority, not in his authority of ruling. Therefore from the foregoing we have an example: prelates, indeed, an example of humility, that they not disdain corrections from those who are lower and subject to them; subjects have an example of zeal and freedom, that they fear not to correct their prelates, particularly if their crime is public and verges upon danger to the multitude.”

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